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Relationship Advice: not knowing whether to move forward and get married

I moved across the world from the states 5 years ago to explore a relationship. The relationship only developed more seriously and we continued to grow as a couple and create a life together. In the back of my mind I always had a thought of going back, but I really did put an immense effort into learning the language, transferring my degree in order to have a career in the country, making friends, etc.
In regards to the relationship as two people we are very happy and compatible. However we have been together for 6 years and at the age of marriage now we feel very stuck. I picture my life and my family with him, however I also know that I have a void inside of being far away from my family and wanting to go back to the states maybe not forever but for at least a few years. The unknown of the future really scares me and also not knowing if I will truly be happy staying here and building my life here.
I don’t know how to know if we should part ways so we can each be in our own countries and with our families/loved ones or if staying together will work out.
2 Responses
134578 tn?1614729226
It must be different for every couple, but I will say that the two international couples I know well would tell you that your plan of trying to talk someone into going back with you to the US for "at least" a few years might not work.  If you had met him as an expat dying to live in the U.S., that would have been different; he would probably already be learning the language and making job inquiries (and/or holding down an international job). But it sounds like you went there because of his charm, and he didn't in particular yearn to move to the US. If leaving for another country is a desirable thing because it's seen as an opportunity, or if it's an escape, or if the person has nothing else going at all, he might want to dump his whole life and follow you to the US. But if it would be a lark done just to please you, the charms of such an arrangement might fall flat after a while.

One of the couples I know tried having six-month to one-year time periods in each other's countries (they owned their own business, so they could keep working no matter which country they lived in). But when they were in the woman's country (a place the man had only gone because she was there), the man was pretty miserable. It also cost a lot (they kept up apartments in both countries). It also got very complicated when they had a child and realized that they each thought the educational system in their native country was better than the other's, and her family wanted them to stay around and not always be in another country. They are now a divorced international couple, with the complexities of joint custody and who gets Christmas made even more difficult by also having to decide in what country the child will be for key holidays and gatherings.  

The other couple, the woman just gave up on living in her home country ever again. The guy she married was rich, so she had a lot of fun options that she wouldn't have had in her country (and he wasn't moving to her country for any period of time, because his lucrative job is very firmly in one place). So she goes home every now and then to see her family, but that is all she gets. At least they aren't divorced, but her family is always coming to stay for long periods and I think for him, life got lots and lots more complicated.

Anyway, if you seriously think you could not keep living with this guy in his country forever, because you would want to go live in the US for "at least a few years" at a time, and IF he doesn't think he could do that, or couldn't make a living when in the US, you two really do have some discussing to do.
973741 tn?1342342773
COMMUNITY LEADER
Gosh, this is really a difficult question.  I empathize with you.  Family we've grown up with, siblings, parents are so integral to our spirit.  Being close to them when the relationship is positive is comforting and enjoyable.  Giving that up is hard, I can only imagine.  You are at a crossroads as this is what it means to be with this man, I guess.  He is not interested in moving to be in your original area?  

I have a friend who went to Japan to work and met a man she fell madly in love with.  They wanted to marry, eventually have a family, and make it work.  Ultimately, he decided to move to her country (USA) and are still here 20 years later.  My friend makes a very concerted effort to have Japanese culture as part of their home life.  From the food they eat, to the way they decorate their home, the things they teach their kids.  My friend is very respectful of what her husband gave up to be with her.  They also sacrifice money and time by making trips across the world to stay in Japan.  When there kids were younger, they would go for 6 to 8 weeks every couple of years and stay with his family forming bonds.  Now their kids are older and they don't get to go as often or for as long but do make an effort to go still with a trip planned soon.  

For me, I couldn't do it.  For others, they can.  You really have to evaluate how you feel about that. But hopefully he would be mindful of the sacrifice you are making and that your family is loved by you and your upbringing and culture and would allow that to be incorporated into your life together.  
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